Before I joined a sorority, my first thought of Greek Life was of people wearing togas to every event. I always pictured John Belushi making guest appearances at frat parties starting the chant, “TOGA! TOGA!” And honestly the movie isn't far off from the truth, except we don't wear togas all the time... just sometimes.
Just like the classic film, Greek Life and sorority row has had its share of Animal House moments, including trying to get another chapter kicked off campus.
There are of course guys in every fraternity to match the characters in Animal House. College Greek parties would not be the same if there weren’t irresponsible boys like Bluto, and a party can never be over until everyone rocks out on the dance floor to “Shout” by the Isley Brothers while beer showers erupt over the entire party.
Not much has changed from the 1978 movie except for the invention of smartphones. All Greeks have to keep a certain GPA individually to stay a member, and have an overall passing GPA for the chapter to stay on campus, which was Delta Tau Chi’s problem in the movie.
No horses have been involved in my past four years as a member in a sorority. There have, however been incidents with other barnyard animals in a few popular fraternities. (PETA was not involved.) The fraternity boys hazing methods landed them into a boatload of trouble and some were even sent to court for their cruel acts. The situation would have been more laughable if the acts were not directed to younger members of their organization. They should have saved the harassment for opposing male organizations, like Niedermyer abusing Flounder in ROTC.
Animal House was not exaggerating the hatred between the ROTC men and fraternities. The static friction between the two groups could start a fire with all the hostility brewing when one group encounters another. I think it is a matter is masculinity. Guys think “Who is the bigger man?” and puff their chests out to appear macho. Boon and Otter did the same thing when they saw Niedermyer abusing Flounder.
Boon: (Niedermyer is abusing Flounder in ROTC) Vicious mother, isn’t he?
Otter: He can’t do that to our pledges.
Boon: Only we can do that to our pledges.
This mentality is still the mindset of frat daddies everywhere. Pledges are property of fraternities even today. At least they stand up for their property. In fact, standing up for the younger ones is considered new age chivalry.
So I thank you, National Lampoons’s Animal House for teaching Greeks everywhere its still okay to dress up in bed sheets and use noise violations as coasters.
Until next time, I need to tie dye a toga for tonight.
See you on the row.